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This article is about the theme. For the train-ride based on the theme, see Orient Expedition (LEGOLAND).

Orient Expedition was one of the various subthemes of Adventurers released in 2003 and discontinued in 2005. These LEGO sets featured Johnny Thunder and his fellow scientists and adventurers. It was unique in that every set above 100 pieces came with stat cards and/or a piece of a game board that could be added to the Orient Expedition Board Game to maximize fun. This was the last subtheme of Adventurers.

The theme was about Johnny Thunder, Dr. Kilroy, Pippin Reed, and their new Asian friends going through Asia to find the Golden Dragon of Marco Polo and his three other treasures before the sneaky Lord Sam Sinister and his partners-in-crime did.


The Beginning[]

After the completion of their goal in the Dino Island theme and retrieving the legendary Silver Horn of Africa, Pippin Reed takes Johnny Thunder to Venice. Dr. Kilroy shows them a piece of an ancient map of Asia with a riddle from Marco Polo. Soon after, Johnny found out that it fit into the other third of a map behind a glass window. The combined map form two things. The first was the story of how upon leaving India, Marco left his Golden Dragon, a gift from the Emperor Kublai Khan, in Khan's palace that can only be unlocked by his three other treasures. The second was the way to the first of Marco Polo's treasures: the golden shield of Marco Polo in the Scorpion Palace, located in India. They head off to India, but Lord Sam Sinister, who had been listening in from outside overheard their chatter and rushed off in his car to give pursuit.


7411 Tygurah's Roar

The Temple of the Tygurah.

Their journey in India starts with the three heading down the river on a boat. After dropping off their stuff, Johnny finds Lord Sinister and Maharaja Lallu, the cruel leader and dictator of the region, interrogating a young local boy named Babloo for information on a sacred gem called the Sunstone. He then rescues Babloo, who agrees to be their guide out of gratitude. After his introduction, the four camp out for the night. While gathering firewood, Dr. Kilroy finds the stone in the temple of the Tygurah. Tygurah shows up, but breaks the bridge that connected the temple to land, and falls into a chasm. Dr. Kilroy walks away with the stone, thinking to himself that the Tygurah should have been on a diet.

7414 Elephant Caravan

The Chase between the Adventurers and Lord Sinister.

In the morning, the quartet leave the site and get on Babloo's elephant, Giri. Lord Sinister catches up to them and tries to stop them from getting the first treasure. After a failed attempt to trick Lord Sinister into crashing, Pippin Reed tells Babloo to make Giri make a U-turn and throw a fallen tree at Sinister. This crashes and breaks his car into pieces and they make a hasty escape.

That night, the four make it to the Scorpion Palace but Lord Sinister, Maharaja Lallu, and his minions, the Scorpion Palace Guards, capture them. Lord Sinister pulls the Scorpion statue's arms which encased a treasure chest, triggering a booby trap that sends a boulder rolling after him, Maharaja Lallu, and his minions to flee. Using the boulder's chaos to their advantage, Johnny, Kilroy and Pippin run into the palace after the boulder leaves the place. After Maharaja Lallu was ready to leave Lord Sinister's forces, Babloo and an Elephant army captures him. Inside the palace, the three find a glowing circle in the ceiling. Using an Elephant, Johnny opens the circle to find Marco Polo's shield. On the back was another piece of the map, leading to Mount Everest. Lord Sinister again overheard them and headed towards the mountain. Hearing his laugh, the three adventurers rushed to Mount Everest.

Mount Everest[]

7415 Aero Nomad

The Aero Nomad.

After becoming friends with Sherpa Sangye Dorje, he acts as the Adventurers' guide in the Himalayas as they fly their hot air balloon, the Aero Nomad. The treasure on Mount Everest was Marco Polo's golden sword. Before they could find a landing spot, Lord Sinister starts a battle in the sky on his black bi-plane. Sinister's first attack was to crash his plane into the Aero Nomad. Johnny quickly turns the steering wheel, dodging the attack. Lord Sinister tries to attack again, but Johnny raises the platform up by pulling a lever at the correct moment. This caused Sinister to crash into the snow due to not paying attention to where he is flying. They finally land by the Temple of Mount Everest, not knowing that it was near, and once out of the balloon, Dr. Kilroy discovered Yeti tracks.


The Temple of Mount Everest.

Pippin Reed soon finds a shrine, and leaves the group for a moment to take a look at it. She finds a cabinet with an emerald in it, but discovers a Yeti as its guardian. The Yeti started after her. The rest of the group tried to save her. As she was fleeing, Pippin trips on a rock, dropping the jewel and her camera. As soon as the Yeti came near, she picked up her camera and takes many pictures of it. The Yeti becomes blinded, forcing it to flee. The four return to their search, but Lord Sinister and his new partner-in-crime, Ngan Pa, the Yeti hunter, traps them before they could go any further.

Finally finding the temple, Sinister traps them in it so they could experience the hidden traps first and show him what he was up against. But, this caused Johnny to retrieve the sword first. A new piece of the map send them to China to find Marco Polo's two final, and greatest, treasures: the Golden Dragon and the Golden Helmet. They head off to their next destination.


Oriental Dragon

The Golden Dragon of Marco Polo.

Their journey through China begins with a stop at the Great Wall of China on Dr. Kilroy's half-track. There were two treasures in China; the aforementioned Golden Helmet and the Golden Dragon. Popping out of bushes nearby, three Dragon Fortress Guards capture the trio as prisoners of dictator, Emperor Chang Wu. Imprisoned, Pippin tries to take her anger out by destroying the bed in the cell. She breaks it, and the leftover pieces give Johnny an idea. It was to stack the pieces on top of each other and get Pippin on his other shoulder to escape out a hole in the ceiling. The plan works out as intended, and Pippin escapes to the outside. Johnny hands her camera over to her as she beats up the guard with the keys to the cell. The trio escape, but their buggy was broken down, with Dr. Kilroy finding out that Lord Sinister had cut the gas line. Without any other way of transportation, the three are forced to walk to the Dragon Fortress.


The secret passage, guarded by the monster Jun-Chi.

The trio make it to Xi'an at night. Jing Lee, a protester who opposed Emperor Chang, helps the trio out, in exchange of helping her take care of her sick father. Dragon Fortress Guards come to re-arrest them and Jing; she stops them, allowing for the group to escape. The next day, the four spot the Emperor's Ship with Lord Sinister on it heading to the Dragon Fortress. Using a row-boat they discovered, the four sneak aboard and hid in the cargo hold. They make it to the temple unnoticed, as Jing Lee showed them a secret passage. They all enter it, and Jing informs the others that they would have to face a beast within the temple; Jun-Chi the monster. They flee, but the way out was filled with Dragon Fortress Guards. Having no choice, they decide to go to the only other exit; a dead end with a balcony that Chang Wu and Lord Sinister watched the capture from.

7419 Dragon Fortress

The Dragon Fortress.

It had turned out that Sam Sinister had gotten the helmet first, in addition to the other treasures from the trio had found along the way. Jun-Chi comes bursting through the walls and scares everyone off. Lord Sinister sneaks away to find the Armoured Chinese Warrior statue that would lead the path to the Golden Dragon. Johnny catches up to him, but was too late to top Sinister from pulling the switch next to the statue. The statue comes to life, scaring Lord Sinister away, and dropping all off the treasures as he went. While running away, a trap door opened from the floor, causing Lord Sinister to fall into a pit. Johnny puts the Golden Sword on the statue, Jing puts the helmet on, Dr. Kilroy puts the shield on, and Pippin takes pictures of all of it. The Golden Shield and Sword transformed into two keys that opened the doors next to the statue. Inside were two wheels that made a huge earthquake. The statue slides away and a chamber appears with the Golden Dragon inside. Soon, the four placed the dragon on the back of the fixed buggy. Chang Wu ordered the Dragon Fortress Guards to fire the catapults at them. They all manage escape, and make it past the Great Wall, and then they headed off for a new adventure.

Episode 1 page 1

Most of the Orient Expedition story was told through comics.

Audio Drama[]

Released in 2003, 4215473 Die Suche nach dem Goldenen Drachen follows the basic storyline of the theme. It expands upon some scenes, details, and characters while abridging others.

Main Design[]


The sets had varying styles, but they all had one style in common; an Asian style. The sets contained many aspects that are shown in the real life areas. For example, in the Mount Everest part of the theme, the sets had a multitude of white pieces to show the snow as seen on the real mountain. The India sets had the forest aspect that also remains looking like the real world India. The China sets were similar in style to the sets from the Ninja theme and the real Chinese places and geography.


An example of Mount Everest's Geography in the background.

In addition, a lot of Asian culture and beliefs are included. One example of beliefs is the Yeti, featured in the 7412 Yeti's Hideout set, in the Mount Everest part of the theme. They used the Yeti because it is believed to live around the Mount Everest Mountain and it was a stop for the characters to find the Golden Shield.[1] Another would be Jun-Chi, who is based on the Japanese half dog half lion monster Shisa.[2] It is unknown what belief of Asia the Tygurah was based off of. Finally, the dragon is another belief. The dragon has been used many times in Chinese and Japanese stories and legends.[3] The actual minifigure is not based on a fictional dragon, but only LEGO designed the Golden Dragon in this new style.

Depending on each subtheme, there was a colour scheme for each. In the Indian subtheme, brown and green pieces could be found in each set. A bit of white was also spread around in the sets. White was also the main colour of the Mount Everest subtheme. Brown and light blue were too part of the Mount Everest colour scheme. China's colour scheme was gold, red, and black.


How to Play[]

The Orient Expedition Board Game was played using instructions in the back of the instruction booklets. You move your minifigures, overcome challenges from the set (statistics are shown on cards), and acquired items. The three skills are courage (denoted by a shield similar to a police badge), speed (denoted by wings), and luck (denoted by a clover). On challenges, you would have to choose a skill to use, but there was always one skill which had a power of x, and so that skill couldn't be used to complete the challenge. If you won, you got the golden item. The 2 players would play the sides of the Adventurers and Lord Sinister's minions. Downloadable instructions can be found here.

The Board[]


Part of the board, only without the Dragon Fortress.

The game board is built from three sets. The left set is the 7418 Scorpion Palace, where the game mini-baseplates are forest green. It is then connected to the 7419 Dragon Fortress in the center. Its mini-baseplates are coloured a ground brown. To the right and connected to the Dragon Fortress is the 7417 Temple of Mount Everest set. The mini-baseplates for the set are coloured a light almost aqua blue with hints of snowy white.

Each of the stops on the game board contain a vary of mini-baseplates. The 7418 Scorpion Palace contained 7 mini-baseplates, the 7419 Dragon Fortress contained 11 for being the biggest of the sets, and the 7417 Temple of Mount Everest contained only 5.



Orient minifigures

All of the Orient Expedition minifigures released

In this Adventurers sub-theme, the Adventurers are on a quest to find all the treasures of Marco Polo. The three main characters are Johnny Thunder, Dr. Kilroy, and Pippin Reed. In India, Babloo joined the group but left it after retrieving the Golden Shield because he needed to stay in his homeland. On Mount Everest, the three had Sherpa Sangye Dorje join as a guide. In China, after the Adventurers shared food with her, Jing Lee tagged along to stop Emperor Chang Wu. The heroic Adventurers consist of:


Lord Sam Sinister, the recurring villain from Egypt and Dino Island, made his own allies during his search for the golden treasures. In India, he teams up with Maharaja Lallu, who has his own Scorpion Palace Guards as minions. On Mount Everest, he hires Ngan Pa. In China, he collaborates with Emperor Chang Wu, whose minions are the Dragon Fortress Guards. Their purpose was to steal the treasures of Marco Polo before the Adventures got to it. They are:



The Yeti

The Guardians/Creatures were monsters of Asian beliefs. The Tygurah guarded the sunstone, a jewel sought by Maharaja Lallu and Babloo's village. The Yeti guarded an emerald and chased anyone near the Temple of Mount Everest. Jun-Chi guarded the secret entrance to the Dragon Fortress. Finally, the Dragon Fortress Statue guarded the Golden Dragon itself. They were:


There have been included several animals in the theme:

Minifigure Gallery[]

Oriental Dragon
Johnny Thunder
Johnny Thunder
(Mt. Everest)
Johnny Thunder
Dr. Kilroy
(India, white legs)
Dr. Kilroy
(India, green legs)
Dr. Kilroy
(Mt. Everest)
Dr. Kilroy
Pippin Reed
Pippin Reed
(Mt. Everest)
Pippin Reed
Lord Sam SinisterLord Sam Sinister
BablooSherpa Sangye DorjeJing LeeMaharaja LalluScorpion Palace GuardNgan PaChang WuDragon Fortress GuardDragon Fortress Guard
Dragon Fortress StatueTygurahYetiJun-ChiGolden Dragon
Johnny thunder

Johnny and some of the characters



Image#SetNumber of piecesMinifiguresPriceRelease
3380 Johnny Thunder3380Johnny Thunder2Johnny Thunder 2003
3381b3381Lord Sam Sinister5Lord Sam Sinister 2003
3382 Jing Lee the Wanderer3382Jing Lee the Wanderer4Jing Lee 2003
7409boxjpg7409Secret of the Tomb41Lord Sam Sinister , Skeleton$3.992003
Jungo17410Jungle River65Johnny Thunder$7.992003
7411 Tygurah's Roar7411Tygurah's Roar94Dr. Kilroy , Tygurah$9.992003
7412-17412Yeti's Hideout107Pippin Reed , Yeti$19.992003
7413-17413Passage of Jun-Chi94Johnny Thunder , Jun-Chi$9.992003
7414-17414Elephant Caravan74Pippin Reed, Babloo, Sam Sinister$20.002003
7415 Aero Nomad7415Aero Nomad112Johnny Thunder , Dr. Kilroy$19.992003
7416-17416Emperor's Ship177Lord Sam Sinister , Dragon Fortress Guard (2)$20.002003
Legosherpa7417Temple of Mount Everest288Ngan Pa, Lord Sam Sinister, Sherpa Sangye Dorje, Johnny Thunder$29.992003
7418-17418Scorpion Palace358Johnny Thunder , Lord Sam Sinister , Maharaja Lallu , Scorpion Palace Guard , Dr. Lightning$49.992003
7419-17419Dragon Fortress732Johnny Thunder , Dr. Kilroy , Pippin Reed , Jing Lee , Lord Sam Sinister , Emperor Chang Wu , Dragon Fortress Guard (2) , Dragon Fortress Statue$89.992003
74207420Thunder Blazer68Johnny Thunder$7.992003
7422-17422Red Eagle29Johnny Thunder$3.992003
74237423Mountain Sleigh30Dr. Kilroy$3.992003
7424 Black Cruiser7424Black Cruiser27Lord Sam Sinister$3.992003
K7122K7122Orient Expedition World Travel Kit79Johnny Thunder,

Dr. Kilroy,

Sam Sinister
K7418K7148Orient Expedition in India Kit535Babloo,

Johnny Thunder (2), Tygurah, Pippin Reed, Sam Sinister (2), Dr. Kilroy (2), Maharaja Lallu,

Scorpion Palace Guard
K7419K7149Orient Expedition in China Kit968Chang Wu,

Dr. Kilroy, Johnny Thunder (3), Pippin Reed, Jing Lee, Dragon Fortress Guard (4), Dragon Fortress Statue, Sam Sinister (2),

K7417K7417Orient Expedition in Mount Everest Kit519Johnny Thunder (2),

Dr. Kilroy, Sam Sinister (2), Ngan Pa, Sherpa Sangye Dorje, Pippin Reed,

KaborientKaborientOrient Expedition 3-Pack79Johnny Thunder, Dr. Kilroy, Sam Sinister 2003
VPorientVPorientOrient Expedition Value Pack with Backpack79Johnny Thunder, Dr. Kilroy, Lord Sam Sinister 2003

Sets by storyline[]

Sets inside storyline[]


Mount Everest[]


Sets outside storyline[]


Mount Everest[]


Value Packs[]


  1. Yeti article at
  3. Chinese Dragon article at

External links[]

Adventurers subthemes
Egypt Jungle Dino Island Orient Expedition